If you’re a Nigerian who wants to study in the UK but is unsure where to begin? are you curious to know if the UK is the ideal location for achieving your academic goals? Or do you want to learn about the cities, possibilities, and customs of the UK? or do you seek the best possible scholarship opportunities?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, this article is for you. In this article, we have responded to all your question and more.
Here is what we are going to cover
– Life of a student in the UK
– How to choose and apply for a school in the UK.
– How to apply for the UK student visa
– Scholarships opportunities and how to apply.
– And much more crucial information
You will get all the necessary information about studying in the UK. To gain the most benefit from this article, you should read it to the end.
Why Study In The UK
Why study in the UK out of all the other destinations you can pick from? The truth is that it all comes down to your personal preference, as there are a lot of great destinations out there. But, the UK is unique for the following reasons.
- World-ranked Universities: The UK is home to some of the world’s highest ranked Universities. Two of the top 3 Universities in the world are in the UK, with another 26 UK Universities in the top 100, So it is safe to say that UK universities are among the very best.
- Innovative teaching: The teaching methods employed by universities in the UK is matched by only the very best. They encourage independent thinking and problem-solving skills, and self-motivation. You will have the chance to apply your knowledge in solving real-life problems in the classroom, in labs, and on-field trips.
- Learn from the Best: Most teachers teaching in UK universities are industry leaders in their fields. So you will have the chance to learn from the best in your field.
- You will have access to world-leading technologies:- The UK universities have some of the best technologies in the world that will make your learning more accessible and fun.
- Access to World-leading research: the UK is at the forefront of global discoveries, thanks to its reputable universities. UK universities are responsible for 14% of the world’s most cited scientific research.
- An unforgettable experience: Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in the UK. Be it an adventure, lifestyle, or travel. You name it. The UK is a very diverse community with various people and cultures. It has all the ingredients to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
- Post-study work opportunities: In 2019, the UK government introduced a two-year-post-study visa for International students, including Nigerians, of course, to stay back and find a job. You can also extend your stay even further if you get a job which is very likely because studying in the UK increases your employability.
- Succeed in your career: Studying in the UK will give you the best possible start to your career. Because apart from the world-class teachings, you will have access to valuable placements (internships and volunteering), make connections, stand out from competitions, and have higher earnings potential.
- Shorter degrees: obtaining an Undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the UK are faster than in other countries. E.g. medicine in the UK is five years while Medicine in USA and Canada is eight years.
- As a Nigerian studying in the UK, You will get many opportunities to obtain financial aid, special discounts, and scholarships.
About the UK
The UK is short for The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It was formed by the union of four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), hence the United Kingdom. The UK is part of Europe and is known for its open and inclusive way of life, ancient traditions, stunning landscapes, splendid nightlife, and unmatched international cultural scene.
Below you will discover everything you need to know about the UK that will help you make an informed decision should you choose to study in the UK.
The UK has excellent food markets where you can find all foods, from local foods to fresh farm produce to trendy foods. There are also supermarkets where you will find most kinds of food, and these supermarkets are open until 11 PM.
As a Nigerian Student studying in the UK, you will have access to fantastic food discounts and special offers such as UNIDAYS, Happy hour, and other special two-for-one deals. If you don’t like eating out, there are room delivery services such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eat.
The UK weather is unpredictable; rain can come on any day, month, and time of the year. It is possible to see rain, sunshine and wind all on the same day, but with the proper clothing and attitude, you have nothing to worry about.
Even though the UK weather is unpredictable, it is not extreme. In summer, the temperature is between 9 – 10 degree Celsius and around 30 degrees Celsius during heat waves. In the winter, the temperature is between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius and may reach 0-degree Celsius on a snowy day. But the good thing is most UK houses, buildings and transport systems have sound heating systems.
So, the UK is for you if you like lazing by the beach in the sunshine, dancing in the mud at music festivals, or having a snowball fight with friends and loved ones.
There’s a saying in England, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Remember I told you the UK weather is unpredictable, and you will need suitable clothing and the right attitude to get by. Well, this is what I mean by suitable clothing. You should have the following sets of clothing in your ward rope.
- A winter coat to keep you warm during winter
- a pair of gloves, a
- scarf and warm hats or earmuffs to cover other parts of the body,
- two pairs of trainers (sneakers) for morning jug and casual outings,
- waterproof shoes for rainy seasons,
- 4-5 pairs of Jeans,
- sweaters, cardigans or hoodies,
- Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, in case you follow your Indian friends to the Holi festival or go dancing in the mud.
- Lastly, corporate wear for formal events.
The UK experiences four separate seasons, namely Spring (March, April and May), summer (June, July & August), autumn (September, October, & November) and winter (December, January, & February). Still, light showers and cloudy skies are prevalent throughout the year.
During the spring, there will be a lot of sudden rain showers, and blossoming trees and flowering plants. The summer is the warmest season in the UK with long days, occasional thunderstorms and heatwaves.
While the autumn can be mild, dry or wet, it is the season when leaves change colour before falling off the trees. Well, you know winter is coming when you choose to study in the UK. The winter is the coldest season with freezing temperatures, icy conditions and sometimes John snow, oh, I mean snow.
Officially the UK is a Christian country with churches of all denominations spread around the country. You can also find other major religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and many more.
The UK has grown to become a multi-faith society, with all the major religions represented in large numbers. The best part about the UK is its tolerant nature; everyone is free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination.
It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of their religion, gender or race. Every school, college and Universities have prayer rooms and religious fellowships you can join.
You are also free to wear any religious attire, such as hijabs, niqabs, turbans, etc., without fear of discrimination. Religious celebrations such as Christmas, Easter, Eid, Maulud, etc., are also widely celebrated in the UK.
Travel & Transport
The UK have one of the best transport systems in the world. You can easily travel around Europe to Paris, Lille, Brussels, and Amsterdam with the Eurostar train, international coaches and great flight connections. They have large train networks connecting cities and towns. There are also discounts for people between the ages of 16 – 25 and 26 – 30.
London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Tyne wear all have an underground rail system and a metro called the tubes. That offers a fantastic travel experience, and they also provide excellent discount offers such as Oyster cards and pay-as-you-go credits.
You also have other options like buses and coaches as most UK cities have Buses for short-distance travel and coaches for long distances. There also have 24 international airports you can use to fly between UK cities at a discounted price.
You can also use Uber and Bolt or order a cab within the town. It is also pervasive to see people riding bikes around the cities, so that is also an option if you are in the mood for exercise or want to save money. Whichever mood of transportation you prefer, the UK has got you covered.
It is common to think that the only language in the UK is English, but that is just not true. Although English is their official language and is spoken all over the UK, other notable languages are spoken in the UK.
Some of these languages are Welsh, spoken in Wales, Gaelic and Scot in Scotland, Irish and Ulster Scot in Northern Ireland, and Cornish in Cornwell, England. These languages are more common in rural areas, but students learn them as their second language in school.
So while you are studying in the UK, you can learn one of the languages mentioned above or at the very least learn a British accent so that you will sound fancy, and when you go out with friends, you can have a “bo’oh’o’wo’er.”
Public holidays are days on which most businesses and non-essential services are closed. In the UK, public holidays are called “bank holidays.” These are mainly observed during world-famous events and local celebrations throughout the year.
Some special bank holidays in the UK are. New year’s on the 1st of January, saint Patrick’s day on the 17th of March, Easter Monday March-April, Early May bank holiday on every first Monday of May, Spring bank holiday also known as the late May bank holiday on every last Monday of May.
Other UK holidays include Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan, Christmas day and boxing day on the 25th and 26th of December. There are eight bank holidays annually in England and Wales, nine in Scotland and ten in Northern Ireland. Additional days have been allocated for special events, such as royal weddings and jubilees.
Health and Safety
The UK has one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. The UK’s NHS (National Health Service) is the best in the world, with first-class, safe and modern treatment and support.
The visa application fee you paid during your visa processing covers the NHS so that you will have access to a doctor for physical or mental health issues, accidents, emergency services, diagnosis of any STDs, access to Covid-19 vaccines and dental care.
The UK is also one of the safest countries in the world, with low crime rates and a loyal police force. All Universities and colleges also have their private securities.
Cost Of Studying in The UK
Studying in the UK offers you good value for money because it is cheaper than studying in USA or Australia. At the same time, you get the same or even a superior standard of education, and graduate of UK Universities is among the most employable graduates in the world. Here we have broken down all the expenses you will incur while studying in the UK.
The tuition fee largely depends on the school, study level, and location. But generally, you should expect to pay anything between £10,000 – £26,000. Medicine costs more than other courses, also Undergraduate courses in other UK nations are three years but four years in Scotland. A Postgraduate degree, on the other hand, is just one year.
On average, £800 – £1300 /month should be enough to get you by including accommodation, food and other living expenses. But, this depends on your mood of spending and lifestyle. Below is a breakdown of the costs.
- £20 – £30 Weekly shopping
- £30/month travelling long
- £10/month for mobile subscriptions
- £2.50 for a cup of coffee
- £40/month for a Gym membership
Note: London and other major cities are relatively more expensive than smaller cities in the UK.
Before coming to the UK, you will pay a fee of £363 for your UK student visa and £470/year for the immigration health surcharge. The immigration health surcharge is £630, but as a student, you have a 25% discount, that’s why you pay £470. Click here to calculate your immigration surcharge for the duration of your stay in the UK. the payment covers your medical bills while studying in the UK, so you do not need health insurance.
As a student in the UK, you will enjoy many discounts. All you need is your student ID to claim it. Many shops, restaurants and businesses like cinemas and theatres offer student discounts, so always remember to ask. There are other student discount cards, such as the TOTUM card, ISIC (international student identity card), and the Railcard, a student discount for trains. It costs £30/year and can save you up to £200/year.
The UK comprises four nations England (the Capital is London), Scotland (the capital Edinburgh), Wales ( Capital Cardiff), and Northern Ireland (the capital Belfast). All the nations share the same currency and other minor similarities, but primarily they have different traditions, languages and cultures, capital cities, landscapes and experiences. But due to UK’s small terrain, you can travel easily between all the nations.
Study In England
England is the largest nation in the UK, with a population of 55.98 million; It has a rich social and cultural history. It is the birthplace of Shakespeare they are known for its vibrant and world-class music and sports scenes. It is home to two of the world’s biggest football clubs, Manchester United and Liverpool, and they also host the Glastonbury festival and the famous tennis competition called Wimbledon. England has 40 airports and 2563 train stations.
London is the Capital of England and the largest city in the UK. It is one of the world’s most culturally & ethnically diverse cities, with great history, iconic buildings, cutting-edge fashion, theatre and food scenes. It is also the world’s financial capital, and London is the most exciting city on the planet.
England also has the most higher institutions among the four nations, 134 in total. 4 England universities are among the top 10 world-ranked Universities. I.61 million students go to school in England in a year, of which 463,000 are from Nigeria and other countries.
Study In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is geographically located on the island of Ireland. But, politically and economically, it is part of the UK. Northern Ireland is known for its spectacular scenery, world-rugged coastlines and unspoiled green countryside. If you are a movie fan, you will be glad to know that the popular HBO movie “the game of thrones” was shot in Northern Ireland. Like other UK nations, Northern Ireland has world-class universities and a reputation for educational excellence.
Two of their Universities, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, are among the best in the world. Generally, Universities in Northern Ireland have affordable tuition fees and accommodation. Like any other UK university graduating from an Irish University increases your employability. 94% 0f graduates from Northern Ireland start work/further their studies within six months of graduating.
The Times and Sunday Times Good University guide’s voted Ulster University as the University of the year. The lonely planet also hailed Northern Ireland as the world’s no-one place to visit in 2018. it also has award-winning food and drinks scenes. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is bursting with creativity, and it is the birthplace of the royal mail ship (RMS), the Titanic.
Northern Ireland has the lowest student living cost in the UK. The average monthly living cost (without rent) is £572/person, £300/month for a room, less if it is outside a city centre, £20/person for a three-course meal. Northern Ireland also has an easy and affordable travelling system. You can visit the Republic of Ireland, other UK nations and Europe using regular flights, trains and sea ferries.
They are a range of scholarships available for Nigerian students studying in Northern Ireland, like the GREAT scholarship in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.
Study in Scotland
Scotland is the northernmost country in the UK, with a stunning mix of expansive landscapes and exciting cities full of culture. It is recognised worldwide as a land with unmatched history, spectacular scenery and hospitality, and it is a very innovative, diverse and progressive nation.
Scotland has hosted prestigious sporting events like the UEFA champions league finals and the European cup. Also, Edinburg, the capital of Scotland, host some famous festivals, such as the Edinburg festival. Due to sprawling landscapes and spectacular scenery, Scotland is the best place for adventures like hiking, swimming, cycling, climbing, peddling and simple strolls.
Scotland It is home to 19 world-leading institutions, with over 242,000 students in general, out of which 50,000 are from Nigeria and other countries. The University of Edinburg, University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews have ranked in the QS world’s top 100 Universities. Scotland is a trendy destination among students from Nigeria and other countries, and Scottish Universities offer over 4500 courses and 150 subjects.
They are the pioneers of some of the world’s leading innovations, namely MRI scanners and Keyhole surgeries. They are a range of scholarships & bursaries for Nigerian students, such as the Saltire scholarships of the Scottish government in collaboration with the Scottish Universities and the UK’s GREAT scholarship.
Study In Wales
Wales is known for its hospitality and is home to the most castles in the world per square mile. They are also known for their distinctive language and love of sports. They have some iconic landscapes such as the mountain of Snowdonia, Valleys, forests, and lakes of mid-Wales, Emerald coastlines and idyllic beaches of Pembroke shire.
The capital of Wales is Cardiff. Wales has a low cost of living, and Cardiff is three times cheaper than London. Cardiff and Swansea are the most affordable cities for nightlife. Also, Cardiff is just 2 hours away from London by Car. 22,000 International students are studying in Wales, Including Nigerians.
Wales is slowly becoming the “new Hollywood”, as students from Welsh Universities are in high demand to fill the growing skills shortage gap in the region. Their certificates are recognized worldwide, with half of Welsh Universities ranked in the top 500 of the Times higher world University ranking 2022. 90% of graduates from Welsh University were working within six months of graduation.
There are various financial supports for Nigerian students, including scholarships, grants and bursaries to help them study abroad. Global Wales offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for International students, including Nigerians (Global Wales postgraduate scholarships)
Choosing a location is a critical part study abroad journey, and it all comes down to your personal preference. Do you want to study in a large city? or a small town that is quieter and more remote? Whichever option you prefer, here are some factors to consider when choosing a location to study in the UK.
- Do you have any school in mind?
- Do you have any extracurricular passion better suited for a specific location?
- Do you have any family or friends in a particular location?
- What is the cost of living in your preferred location? Can you afford it?
- Do you have a preferred nation?
If you answer the above-listed question, you will be better positioned to choose the best study location.
Best Cities in the UK for Nigerian Students
The QS Best Student Cities 2022.
Choosing a University or College
When choosing a UK University to study, you are spoilt for choice. With over 160 Universities, the UK offer limitless courses and study options; among them are world-renowned historical institutions and innovative modern facilities with pioneering and progressive specialist research centres. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a school in the UK.
- Ranking: When it comes to ranking, every organisation focus on different ranking factors, like the Qs world University ranking focus on research and reputation, while the Higher Education (THE) world University ranking and the complete University guide focus on research strength and student satisfaction. People and planet University league focuses on the environment and ethical performance. So before choosing a University, you should understand ranking factors.
- Compare Universities: compare the Universities to see which one has the right course option and flexibility, how they rank for student satisfaction and care, the per cent employability of their graduates, teaching standards, research activities, facilities (libraries, lecture halls, and study spaces). You will find more information about the schools on their official websites.
- Extracurricular activities: If you have extracurricular passions like football, Tennis, Dance etc., you should check to see if the school has that. Also, some are better known for a particular extracurricular activity than others, so that can be a factor.
- Budget: Depending on the city and your course of study, the studying and living expenses can vary greatly. So if you are interested in living in a city centre, you should be prepared to incur the costs of it. Some schools are also more expensive than others. Generally, the higher the school’s ranking, the more expensive it will be.
Top University in the UK
|Top 10 Universities in the UK According to the QS World University Rankings 2022
|University of Oxford
|University of Cambridge
|Imperial College London
|The University of Edinburgh
|The University of Manchester
|King’s College London
|The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
|The University of Warwick
|University of Bristol
Source: QS Top Universities
Choosing a course
There is hardly a course out there that you will not find in the Uk, But you still have to find the right one. Here are some factors to consider while choosing the right course for you.
- Is there any course you are interested in studying? It is common to already have a course in mind as some people already know what they want to learn as early as their primary school days. But if you have none is ok because new courses come out each year.
- You will also want to consider is the school of your choice, do they offer the course you want to study?
- Work placements: Work placement is essential because that is where you make connections and prepare the real-world challenges. So, you will want to choose a course that has good placements.
- Do you have any career goals or ambitions? It will be wise to factor that, too, because whatever you read, it is likely that you will be stuck with it for the rest of your life.
- Each school has unique entry requirements, so you should also check out to see the requirements of your school of choice and check if you can meet these requirements.
- Finally, the testimonials, find out what people that have gone through the same course are saying about the course. You can find these kinds of discussions on Facebook groups and other forums (Quora, Reddit)
Check out the UCAS subject guides for more insight into UK undergraduate courses.
UK Admission Requirement
As I stated above, each University has its unique sets of requirements, but specific requirements are general. Below you will find the general requirements for gaining admission to the UK as a Nigerian.
- As a graduate of the Nigerian education system, you might have to complete a year of International Foundation in the UK before you get accepted for a degree.
- You also need a personal statement, 2 Letters of Recommendation (optional), a resume for a postgraduate degree or undergraduates that have spent more than six months at home after graduating, a portfolio of work (if you have one), and other certificates & achievements.
- You are required to take an English-language test, such as IELTS UKVI or equivalent,
- You have a valid international passport.
- After obtaining your acceptance letter from the University, Nigerian students need a Tier 4 visa to study in the United Kingdom. It is valid up to the course duration with an additional extension of 2 years.
UK Admission Application Process
After choosing a location, a school and a course, it’s time to start your application. For this, you have two options: either do it yourself through the school website or let us do it for you for free (terms and conditions apply). Did I hear you say, “what is the difference between applying by yourself and applying through an agent?” well, they are both free the only difference is that if you apply through us, we do all the work for you. Also, you will get admission much faster because the schools are our partners. They consider applications from agents first before attending to individuals. Sometimes you can even get an offer within a week when you apply through us.
You should not wait until you get there before you start looking for accommodation. In fact, during your visa application, you have to show accommodation documents. You might also want to apply on time because popular accommodations quickly fill up. When it comes to student accommodation in the UK, you have a wide variety of options ranging from University-owned accommodations to private luxury accommodations to shared living accommodations. Below we will go through each one to give you a better understanding.
Types Of Students Accommodations
- University-Owned Accommodation: Most Universities have their accommodation, and you have the option to pick either a single room with a shared kitchen, self-contained studios, or catered halls (with food or meals included in your rent). Generally, all the above accommodations will give you a safe and comfortable home-away-from-home experience. They also have Wifi and content insurance.
- Private luxury student accommodation: Just like University-owned housing, you also have various options to choose from with Private luxury student accommodation. They are two of PLS; a self-contained studio and an apartment. There are both fully furnished with a cinema room, an on-site gym, a round-the-clock concierge service and a 24-hour security service. But you should note that this is on the pricy side.
- Homestay accommodation: there is also an option for you to stay with a host family. The University will help you find a family to live with while studying. This option is best for minors who might not be comfortable living independently.
- Private rented apartment: don’t mistake this for the private luxury accommodation listed above as this one is cheaper, but you won’t have the luxury that the former allows. The privately rented apartment is not furnished. It has no kitchen or utensils. You will have to pay for your transportation to school. You also have to pay for other utilities like Wifi, contents insurance, TV license etc., but you don’t need to pay council tax.
Finally, choosing the best accommodation largely depends on you, your lifestyle, and your budget. But if you are confused about Which accommodation is suitable for you, contact us now and let’s choose it together.
UK Student Visa
If you are 16 or above and want to go to the UK to pursue a higher education lasting for more than six months, then you will need a tier 4 Student visa. A student visa allows you to live and study in the UK for the duration of your course, plus an additional 2-years post-study visa to find a job. You can extend the two years if you get a job there.
How to Apply for a UK Student visa in Nigeria
You can apply for a UK student visa from Nigeria in 4 easy steps.
Step1: Apply to a University: follow the steps we outlined above to choose a university, then head on to the University website and start the application process, or you can let us make the application for you. Your choice.
Step 2: Get CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies): When you apply to a University and fulfil all its requirements, you will be given an “Unconditional offer” and a Certificate of acceptance of studies required for your student visa application.
Step 3: Apply for your visa, preferably six months before the school resumption date. You will also pay a visa application fee of 363 (subject to change).
Step 4: Immigration health surcharge: You can access the UK NHS(national health service) while studying in the UK. You will be prompted to pay the immigration surcharge during your visa application. the fee depends on how long you will stay in the UK. Click here to calculate your immigration surcharge
UK Student Visa Requirement for Nigerian Students
- Sponsorship letter
- Consent letter ( if the student is below 18 years)
- CAS statement
- TB test result
- IELTS UKVI Academic result
- Sponsor’s ID card
- Student’s Birth Certificate
- Sponsorship letter
- Consent letter ( if the student is below 18 years)
Note: The document listed above may vary based on your peculiar case. So you should contact an expert on the visa matter.
Can I Work in The UK on a Student Visa?
You can work part-time jobs for up to 20 hours a week during the semester and 40 hours a week during the school holidays. You can also have job placements. Check your visa and residence permit for more information.
UK Embassy Addresses in Nigeria
The British High Commission in Abuja
Address:19 Torrens Close, Mississippi, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria Email: PPAInformation.firstname.lastname@example.orgHours of Operation: Monday – Thursday: 8 AM – 4 PM, Friday: 8 AM – 1 PM
The British High Commission in Lagos
Address: Consular, and Visa Sections, 11 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria Email:email@example.comHours of Operation: Monday to Thursday: 8.30 AM – 12:00 PM, Friday: 8.30 AM to 11 AM
Stay in The UK After Your Graduation
The simple answer is yes. In 2019 the UK government introduced a 2-year post-study visa for students that study in the UK to stay back and either find a job or further their education. You can extend the visa or change the terms of your visa. If you are eligible for more information, check out the UK government’s official website.
Scholarship & Funding for Nigerian Students
There are many scholarship and funding opportunities for Nigerian students. Like the Chevening Scholarship, GREAT scholarship, Commonwealth scholarship, and many more check out our blog post on scholarships in the UK for more information.
Studying in the UK can be very exciting if you can afford it. By studying in the UK, you can get the best of the best. Regarding education, you can not do better than the UK. There are also scholarships and funding opportunities for Nigerians. Though it is very competitive, you can still try your luck.
Now that you know everything you need to study abroad, it is time to apply. Either choose to do it yourself, or you can have us do it for you. It is free, and The amazing part is that even when you will get your offer a lot faster when you apply through us. Goodbye, for now, hope to see you soon.